47. Gossip Girl: the Carlyles created by Cecily von Ziegesar

            A new era in this YA-level series is beginning.  The Carlyle triplets are moving to New York.  They are all having a hard time with adjustments and just want to get throught the first week of school.  Owen hooked up with a girl over the summer and becomes sick when he finds out that she is the girlfriend of his new guy friend, Rhys.  Baby does not like New York and wants to move back to Nantucket and be with her boyfriend.  Avery loves New York and wants to take the town by storm, which is proving more difficult than she had thought.  Avery has a plan though and everyone else gets caught up in it.  If you are a fan of previous books, don’t worry all the old gang are back.  Even GG, although her identity is in question.

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Published in: on May 22, 2008 at 11:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

46. Diary of a Would-be Princess by Jessica Green

            Jillian James would like to be a princess in this J-level novel, set in Australia.  But she is not popular and so will never be invited into that group.  She has to deal with Nigel who wants to be her boyfriend, but who is a total nerd.  She can not do maths to save her life.  Her teacher Mrs. Bright gives a daily journal writing asignment, for the whole year.  What is worse, Mrs. Bright reads the journals and makes comments about Jillian’s attitude.  Will Jillian ever make friends?  Will she ever be able to do maths?  And most importantly, is it really that important to be a princess?  Read the changes that Jillian goes through in her fifth-grade year of school.

Published in: on May 22, 2008 at 10:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

45. Forever Rose by Hilary McKay

            Rose Casson, the youngest in the eccentric Casson family, is struggling with change as we begin this J-level novel.  Exciting things have happened in her life but everyone is growing up and going away.  Rose is quite lonely.  Until, David and his drums show up, her friend Molly decides not to be boring anymore, and Caddy begins to call more frequently.  As Rose deals with her siblings growing up and becoming more independent and her mother being ill she learns that even in lonely times, with catastrophes and disasters, good things can happen.  This novel is a great cap for the four previous books written about the Casson family.  This book is not necessarily a part of the series, but is a definite continuation of Rose’s growth in life.

Published in: on May 22, 2008 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

44. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan brings another action packed, dilemma filled installment to this fourth book in the YA-level ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ series.  Percy Jackson is a demi-god.  His father is Poseidon.  Most don’t believe in the gods anymore but, since finding out he is the son of one, Percy can’t stop getting into trouble.  First, he almost gets kicked out of school (again) on orientation day.  Then he gets rescued by mortal Rachel Elizabeth Dare.  Annabeth is given her own quest, so that she can save the Camp of the half-bloods.  Kronos, an old Titan, is still trying to take over the world and use Percy to do his will.  Nico Di Angelo, son of Hades, is looking for revenge.  The gods as usual are interfering in the quests of the half-bloods.  Luke is trying to kill Percy, also as usual, and Grover finally finds the god Pan.  Add in a full-grown hellhound and a few other monster siblings and the choas begins to save the world one more time.

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

43. Extras by Scott Westerfeld

            This fourth YA-level installment in Westerfeld’s futuristic installment begins with Aya.  She is a fifteen-year-old “Ugly” who is struggling to fit in the post “mind-rain” era.  In her Japanese city, many have experimented to become “tech-heads”, “kickers”, and “surge monkeys”.  Much of these motivations of these experiments are to climb ranks.  Aya is stuck at 451,369.  She dreams of reaching the top thousand, where privilege is the norm and she will be famous to all.  To do this, though, she needs to “kick” a great story.  When she meets the Sly Girls things begin to look up.  But has she gotten more than she bargained for and what principles will she bend to in her search for famedom?

Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 1:31 am  Leave a Comment  

42. Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

            In this J-level book Will Burrows truly finds himself.  This may seem weird when you find that his father works in a museum and does archaeological digs in his spare time, his mother watches television constantly, and his sister does all of the housework and thinks that dirt is a sin.  Will does love his father and helps on digs.  He has even started his own archaeological digs.  Then Will begins to find strange tunnels that mysteriously get filled in.  And his father disappears.  Eventually, Will discovers “The Colony” an underground city.  Once there he finds a scary reception and an unexpected welcome as well.  This is the first book in a series.

Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  

41. The Final Warning by James Patterson

            The fourth book in the YA-level Maximum Ride series has a heavy global warning message.  The premise for the series is that 6 kids escaped from “The School” where they were genetically created and kept in dog crates like animals.  Some of the genetic modifications are cool, like bird wings so they can fly.  Other modifications can be scary, like reading people’s minds.

            In this fourth installment, Max and the other bird kids are appearing in the Capitol to see if the government can do anything for them.  Then someone plants a bomb in their pizza delivery, so they go on the run.  A refuge is found as research assistants in Antarctica.  Then things go wrong like they always do.  Along the way each bird kid finds out facts about what global warming is doing to the earth and how they can help save the world.  Saving the world is a recurring theme throughout the series, but this is the first time a specific goal beyond survival is spelled out as such.

Published in: on May 10, 2008 at 9:23 pm  Leave a Comment